HASTINGS, Fla. – A construction worker was killed Friday after he became trapped under a street sweeper in Hastings.
The Florida Highway Patrol said 69-year-old Everett Rolfe, of Hollly Hill, was working on a paving project when he was run over just before 10:30 a.m. at Morrison Road and State Road 207.
State Road 207 was blocked off in the area for several hours as emergency crews tried to save the man, who was trapped beneath the sweeper. By the time they got to him, it was too late.
AERIAL VIEW: SR-207 closed during incident
Patricia Tyler, who works at a produce stand about a mile down the road, said she saw the construction project come to a halt.
“The traffic totally came to a stop. The air flight helicopter came in, and it was just really scary,” Tyler said. “I got goosebumps watching it all happen.”
When emergency crews began racing toward the scene, Tyler said she and a co-worker, Michael Smith, knew that something wasn’t right.
“They are repaving the road out here, and there are a lot of men working out there, and lot of trucks hauling the asphalt and the millings,” Smith said.
Troopers said Rolfe got pinned underneath the machine. Authorities said he was not operating the street sweeper, but was working on the paving project.
“They had a helicopter come over here to Life Flight him to Jacksonville, but from what we understand, he was dead when they got here,” Smith said.
He said the paving project has been going on for about a week, and he said a lot of the workers who come to his food stand knew the man.
“They said they don’t have many accidents, you know? Mainly the accidents they have would be from another vehicle, but not from within their own crew,” Smith said.
“These workers work really hard every day out there, and it’s a real tragedy,” Tyler said. “I feel sorry for the family.”
Construction on the road resumed after the scene was cleared.